COVID-19: Number of hospitalised people rises further to over 1,100 in Hungary

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After a 150% jump in the number of patients with coronavirus infection in Hungarian hospitals, authorities reported a 36% increase for the seven days up to 13 December. The official figures published on Wednesday also show a 71% jump in the number of Covid patients on ventilator, and a 10% rise in new cases (same as a week earlier), while weekly deaths dropped 14% from last Tuesday after a 19% growth. Volatility in the official data remains constant.
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If there's one thing you can say about Hungary's official Covid statistics is that they are hectic but at least there's a consistency in this roller-coaster ride of unreliable data. It's enough to take a look either at the following table or the charts below.

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As regards the total number of Covid deaths, Hungary continues to beat everyone in the region. In terms of deaths per one million population Hungary is 3rd in the world, with 5,036 fatalities behind Bulgaria (5,562) and Peru (6,463).

Here are a few charts about the key indicators that show the main developments in the pandemic since mid-May:

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The 'On ventilator / In hospital' ratio was falling constantly since May, although there was a spike in late August. The ratio has been steadily rising since mid-Sept and reached 1.9% in mid-October, only to rather inexplicably drop to 1.1% after and then jump back to 1.8% and drop abruptly again to 1.3% two weeks ago. Last week the ratio edged up to 1.4%, jumped back to 2.1%, retreated to 1.4% and now is back at 2.1%. The downward trend remains intact, though.

The following chart shows the daily average number of Covid deaths as a percentage of Covid patients in hospital and on ventilator. There is a downward trend in the former and a slight upward trend in the latter. The number of ventilated patients used in the graph is an adjusted figure, i.e. the official data multiplied by 1.4 to reflect the changes in methodology introduced by local authorities last November (invasive vs. non-invasive ventilation). The pattern looks absolutely the same without the adjustment, only the death/ventilated ratios are higher. Both ratios are now at their mid-July level.

The following chart uses an indicator conceived by Balázs Pártos, an enthusiast with a medical background who was keeping a very close eye on the pandemic and made rather accurate estimates based on the CFR/OCC ratio. CFR = [deaths / confirmed cases], OCC = [deaths / (deaths + recoveries)]. This may be one of the best (simple) indicators as to where the pandemic is headed.

Vaccine uptake slackens again

A total of 6,474 COVID-19 shots have been administered in Hungary over the past seven days, down 6% from 6,895 a week ago, which follows a 13% w/w rise.

The daily average fell to 925 doses from 985 a week ago.

The number of 4th doses administered (5,663 or 809 per day) shows an 8% w/w decline, and the number of 3rd jabs administered (451 or 64 per day) shows now change from the previous 7-day period. The daily average of 1st and 2nd shots was 27 and 24, respectively, reaching a total of 192 and 168 over the seven days up to 13 Dec.

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As regards the vaccination rates, here are the key numbers for Hungary at the moment, although these should be taken with a pinch of salt. The shots do offer good protection from severe illness and death, but their power to shield you from contracting the virus depends greatly on the type of vaccine - messenger RNA (mRNA), vector, protein subunit vaccine - the recipient's immune system (age, weight, underlying diseases, etc.), the time that elapsed since the last jab was administered, and obviously the number of shots received. 

 

Cover photo: Justin Paget, Getty Images

 

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